Second such drowning in two years in Rock Island, IL. In the earlier case the city and school district and others(?) are being sued. Hat tip: a reader.
From the Quad-City Times:
A 12-year-old Rock Island boy who was swimming with friends drowned in the Mississippi River on Monday afternoon near Rock Island’s Sunset Marina.
Josh Ngao of Fishers of Men Ministries in Davenport said the boy’s family, which includes four sisters, are immigrants from Burundi. He said they immigrated to Chicago four years ago before coming to the Quad-Cities two years ago. He said they live in Century Woods Apartments in Rock Island. He also declined to give the boy’s name until authorities released it.
Ngao, who translates for many of local African immigrants, said the boy was swimming with six other boys when he became caught in the current and was swept away. He said many in the local African community are used to swimming safely in the rivers and lakes of Africa and don’t realize the dangers of the Mississippi River.
“There should be an awareness for the families that come from other countries,” he said.
The boy’s death affected several hundred in the local African immigrant community, who gathered Monday night to pray, Ngao said. [The Quad-Cities area of Illinois and Iowa is a huge resettlement site for the US State Department and its contractors—ed].
Who will be sued this time? Whoever didn’t teach the Africans about the dangerous Mississippi River?
The boy is now the second African immigrant to drown in Rock Island in the past two years. On May 28, 2009, 6-year-old Grace Vah, a native of Liberia in West Africa, drowned during a school field trip to the Whitewater Junction swimming facility in Rock Island.
Both the boy and Vah were students from Frances Willard and residents of Century Woods.
In May, Vah’s family filed a lawsuit against the city, the Rock Island-Milan School District and other parties.
Other posts on Burundians in the US are archived here.